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The Originals: Julie Plec blogs 'Behind the Black Horizon'

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Mikaelson family is extremely complicated, and who better to untangle that drama than Julie Plec? The Originals showrunner will blog each week’s installment throughout the season exclusively for EW. From answering burning questions to giving behind-the-scenes stories and more, this is a place for fans to hear directly from Plec about the episode they just watched. 

Thanks for attending our Joseph Morgan Festival, with an episode starring Joseph Morgan, directed by Joseph Morgan, and blessed by Joseph Morgan, who in my eyes is right up there with the pope. From the minute he entered our lives to originate the role of Klaus Mikaelson in episode 219 of The Vampire Diaries, we knew we had been kissed by the gods. He was kind, lovely, professional, prepared, and monstrously talented. In between seasons 3 and 4 of TVD, Joseph worked with the crew to produce and direct his short film Revelation. He has always wanted to be a filmmaker, and we were thrilled to give him this opportunity to direct for television.

Tidbits from set brought to you by the episode’s writers Diane Ademu-John & Declan DeBarra:

  • Even though Joe is a first-time TV director, we did not go easy and give hm a “light” episode — it had big fights, multiple scenes with five-six principals, VFX, SFX, etc., and he was unflappable, enthusiastic, prepared and was an absolute joy for the cast and crew to work with — earning him the name Captain Morgan. The cast especially loved working with him — and everyone came prepared to impress him. Joseph did have a little difficulty with one actor in particular — the guy who plays Klaus Mikaelsson, but after a good talking-to (in a mirror), Captain Morgan was able to straighten the guy out.
  • It was fun to watch Joseph direct himself and critique his own performances. A playback monitor was set up so that he could first act in a scene, then immediately watch it on playback, and then adjust and correct. 
  • Daniel and Caspar did their own “stunt” driving by whisking Elijah’s Porsche past the “Welcome to Mystic Falls” sign. Daniel drove so fast that the cameraman almost got whiplash trying to capture it. Caspar expressed his utter disappointment that Daniel didn’t go faster. 
  • At one point our makeup people had so much oozing pus on a dead body that appears in the show, that even Joe and Declan (who both LOVE that sort of thing) had to step in and “de-pusify” in order to make it broadcastable.
  • It snowed off and on during the shooting of our big outdoor fight sequence. So we had to shoot a lot of the fight twice, both with snow and without, in order piece together either a “fight in the snow” or a “fight with no snow.”
  • Though there were a lot of fights and special effects in this episode, Joe really made it a point to focus on the acting, making sure all of the actors got as much prep time as they wanted. Joseph, Daniel and Caspar got together to rehearse on their own time.
  • We had a blast with Zach Roerig, who fit in seamlessly with our cast and crew. 
  • We believe our Kingmaker S.W.A.T. team guys were a real S.W.A.T. team. The most fun day on set was watching Joe and Phoebe wipe the walls and floor with that swat team. We all had to wear protective ear plugs because the sound of arms-fire was so loud and continuous.
  • In honor of his first directing gig, Joseph bought himself a fancy puffy jacket to keep him warm during our cold outdoor shoots … but ended up burning a hole in it by standing too close to a heater. Declan and I laughed … until we each burnt holes in our own fancy puffy jackets later on that same day.

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